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Tribune Online
How JDPM commemorated International Children’s Day with Oyo pupils

For as long as one can remember, the unchanging and immutable day for the celebration of Children’s Day in Nigeria has been May 27.  This date has been so ingrained and integrated into our culture and curriculum to the extent of becoming sacrosanct and not only becoming a national holiday for teachers and students but also depicting the celebration of children through different means. However, in Oyo State, a new and international dimension was introduced into the celebration of children for the very first time in Nigerian history courtesy of Justice, Development and Peace Movement (JDPM) of the Catholic Diocese of Oyo.

May 27 of this year, which was at the twilight of the immediate past government in Oyo State, and the dawn of the incumbent administration turned out to be a day of strike by the National Union of Teachers, Oyo State chapter, thereby robbing the children of the excitement of their annual celebration. To all intents and purposes, this year children celebration had been forfeited and the children left to sulk and await next year’s occasion.

However, JDPM as a proactive non-governmental organisation of the Catholic Diocese of Oyo rekindled the hope of Oyo State children by not only ensuring the celebration of Children’s Day this year but by providing adequate support and logistics for the Internationalisation of the celebration in 10 Local Government Areas (LGAs) within the Catholic Diocese of Oyo.

November 20 of each year had been designated by the United Nations as the International Children’s Day. Because of its variation with the National Children’s Day in Nigeria, very little is known about it. However, JDPM, a local NGO with global outreach, was able to galvanize and mobilize 84 primary schools in Oyo State across 10 local government areas (LGA) to commemorate the International Day of the Children. The 10 LGAs where the event took place are Afijio, Atiba, Atisbo, Oyo East, Oyo West, Kajola, Iwajowa, Ogbomosho, Itesiwaju and Iseyin.

Children displayed their knowledge of Ewi, Ijala, Efe and through role play and playlets demonstrated their understanding of the rights and responsibilities of Children, teachers and parents under the Child Rights Welfare And Education Project.

The high points of the celebration at each of the event at the 10 locations were the Spelling Bee Competition which demonstrated the pupils’ mastery of complex English words and vocabulary and quiz competition to test their general knowledge. The well planned events beat the imagination of invited parents and officials of the Local Education Authority.

The elation of the pupils at the various locations was contagious. From Ipapo to Otu, from Lakonu to Opapa, from Gbelekale to Okeho, Iganna to Iwere-ile, Kosobo to Asogo, Tede to Ago Are, Fiditi to Awe and Iseyin to Ogbomosho, the pupils were able to interact with one another, with some leaving their immediate environment for the very first time and forging alliances and friendship that may possibly last their lifetimes.

The JDPM of Oyo Diocese, with support from Kinder missionwerk of Germany is running a two-year project titled Child Rights Welfare  and Education Project through which it is working with over eighty (80) selected primary schools to teach pupils, teachers and parents the rights and responsibilities of the children.

The events threw up germane issues peculiar to each environment thereby reflecting local realities which at the same corresponded to the demonstrated themes embedded in the playlets, quiz competitions, cultural, artistic and poetic displays of the pupils.

Child trafficking, gender parity, family stability and child abuse are among the themes interrogated through the platform of the International Children’s Day Celebration. The pupils, parents, teachers facilitators, child rights vanguards and Local Education Authority officials that graced the occasion at the various locations were unanimous in their submission that they had never had it so good in the history of children’s celebration and enjoined JDPM to continue the good work.

How JDPM commemorated International Children’s Day with Oyo pupils
Tribune Online

source https://tribuneonlineng.com/how-jdpm-commemorated-international-childrens-day-with-oyo-pupils/

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